Education, enlightenment on Black history

Six panelists discuss Black history through their respective professions

By Ashley Rodriguez
On February 7, 2020

Photo By Ian Saint: Dr. Herman Howard,
communication and mass media department
chair, presents during ASU’s Black History
Month academic presentation. A panel of
speakers, (seated from left) which included
Destiny Brown, Joyce Mechelle Grooms-
Reed, Dr. Jay Rone Brown, Dr. Marva
Jeanine Solomon and Caroline Madake, also
presented during the event.

ASU Multicultural and Student Activities Programs and the Multicultural Advisory Council on Feb. 3 hosted an academic presen­tation in honor of Black History Month.

The academic presentation featured representatives of four de­partments, which included the freshman college, the departments of teacher education, health science professions and communication and mass media. ASU chapters of the NAACP and the African Student Association also took part in the event.

Each of the panelists spoke on behalf of the African-American community and the roles they play in their areas of work.

Destiny Brown, president of ASU’s NAACP chapter, spoke about the history of the organization, criminal justice reform and edu­cation.

“We are very active in the community,” Brown said. “I just want to make that known. We’re educating and participating, and that makes us actors in history.”

Dr. Herman Howard, communication and mass media depart­ment chair, discussed entertainment as education for social change and touched on a documentary about Jackie Robinson.

Joyce Mechelle Grooms-Reed, academic coach and early alert coordinator for the freshman college, shared the history and the NAACP chapter of San Angelo. The chapter, which was founded on

Feb. 12, 1909 will celebrate 111 years of existence this month, she said.

Next in the program, Dr. Jay Rone Brown, assistant professor, spoke about breast cancer research in the African-American commu­nity.

“For black women it has remained forty-four percent more likely for them to die from this disease,” Brown said.

Dr. Marva Jeanine Solomon, associate professor, explained how many teachers overlook gifted black children.

“It’s important for elementary, middle school, high school or college professors that you help teach your kids in whatever profes­sion you’re in so that they can make a difference in the world,” Solo­mon said.

Lastly Caroline Madake, president of the African Student As­sociation, described her cultural background and her experience of earning an education in the U.S.

“When you see people of my skin color, you have to wait and hear their story before coming up with commonly inaccurate judg­ments,” Madake said.

“I feel like I learned a lot from being here,” freshman Juma Nijimbere said. “[I learned] more about the history of the background we come from, getting to know the people who paved the way for us to have this much freedom now in 2020.”

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